Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Larry Ward from Stevensville, MI, long-term manufacturing engineerer, husband and falther of grown children, found a new passion - mountain climbing. Not Midwestern sized mountains but the ones in the big leagues, like Mt. Ranier. Larry and his sons trained, prepared and accomplished their goal - and Larry was hooked.  

Next Larry had to achieve new heights and in 2013, he prepared to climb the 20.320 feet of Mt. Denali. In the meantime, while Larry was training, six of this close friends were affected by cancer. So the climb to Mt. Denali become a mission for Larry - to honor his friends and raise funds to fight cancer. Larry is still climbing and will keep climbing in each of the 50 states. At the summitt, Larry will keep shouting the names of those affected by cancer - now over 100 names at Gannett Peak in Wyoming. After all the struggles and pain, you make it to the top of your mountain.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Be Bold and Be TEAL

It was on a brisk May morning that a record-breaking Team Chasen A Cure took to streets around Cellular Field for the 2014 NOCC Walk to Break the Silence.  Record-breaking it was, with the largest number of team members raising the greatest number of donations and trekking on the longest distance. But coming to the corner of 35th Street did not mean the end to promoting ovarian cancer awareness. 
2014 Team Chasen A Cure

Awareness opportunities come in as many styles as you can imagine. Craft shows, golf outings, farmers’ markets, lectures, health fairs for kids and seniors – any chance to meet and talk to people – women and men – young and old – is an occasion to spread the word. Be bold and be seen in all your teal. The chance to plant the seed of familiarity to the right person who will remember the symptoms, to give someone the courage to ask the right question, “Could it be my ovaries?”

There is plenty of fear out there and folks who prefer the view of the inside of the beach.
 But the question “Is a Pap smear a test for ovarian cancer?” is enough to turn heads and get people to thinking. You don’t know what you don’t know until you know it. Until your knowledge base is challenged and your assumptions are knocked down. Be in the know.

Yes, it’s mid-September and therefore midway through Ovarian Cancer Awareness month.  Has your world been turned teal yet??? It is uplifting to check out the newsfeeds and watch ovarian cancer awareness spread across the country from ribbons on trees and teal colored waters in the fountain to Teal Toes on the firefighters! There is still plenty of time in the month to run towards the finish line.

The calendar page will turn as well as the leaves to their autumn splendor of orange, red and gold – and oh, yes, pink. But there will not be any slow down in the events. There will be nights to Empower Women and a chance to strike up a one-on-one conversation around the teal ribbon on your coat. For our sisters, their battle is fought every day.  Be bold and be teal, every month of the year.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Seasons of Life

If you can stand to look out of the window, the fresh morning’s walk in May and the teal days of September will seem like a lifetime ago.  The months have been packed with many chances to spread the word of ovarian cancer symptom awareness and Mother Nature has not stopped Team Chasen A Cure.

Health Fairs: The fall began with community sponsored health fairs giving neighbors the opportunity to be proactive and protect their good health through the winter. These fairs are a wonderful chance to introduce NOCC and the topic of ovarian cancer, particularly to older women who, although at the age of greatest risk of diagnosis, have put the importance of their gynecological health behind them. 

Women’s Events: Expos such as the Women’s Empowerment Workshop and Suburban Women’s Total Health and Beauty Event focus on valuable issues from well-being and personal fulfillment to safety. Attendees are relaxed, open to learning about ovarian cancer and eager to share personal stories.

Corporate Events: Companies that promote healthy lifestyles for their employees, including American Airlines, CTA and Midmark have opened their conference rooms, lunchrooms and hallways to NOCC speakers. The chance to speak to both men and women, make them aware of the important of symptom awareness for early diagnosis and provide an opportunity to support NOCC’s mission to care for survivors and their families, gives credence to the value of a healthy culture. Ask for the chance to be heard, and doors will be opened.

Every Day Spaces: With teal toes stuffed in multiple pairs of socks and shoved into boots, wear your teal on your lapel and open up the discussion. Teal ribbons can start a conversation of “Why Teal?” especially following “pink-tober”.  With a supply of NOCC Symptom Awareness cards available to hand out, your circle of influence will increase with each encounter.

Winter passes and one remembers one’s perseverance: The dates on the calendar continue to fill with occasions to reach out and inform. There are upcoming events at schools, churches, craft expos, career fairs and even hockey games.

2013 Team Chasen A Cure
The culmination for spring is the 17th NOCC Walk/Run on May 3rd. Now is the time to build teams, to show support for the survivors, and join together as one loud teal crowd to Break the Silence. The NOCC Walk/Run has grown every year in participants and sponsorships. Come join Team Chasen A Cure as we persevere to set new records in 2014.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

A Caring Community

Thanks to all who attended the Chamber Health Fair at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library. There are moments of satisfaction, when someone learns a new fact about ovarian cancer or takes literature to pass on to a concerned friend. We are making stride in spreading awareness and educating in our sphere of influence.

Saturday's fair also brought time to share with members of the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce Health and Wellness Initiative who are dedicated to complementary health approaches to support the overall health of cancer patients. Licensed acupuncturist and nationally certified herbalist Lindy Camardella of Advanced Health Institute partners with cancer patients to ease treatments side effects. As a counselor for cancer patients, Paul Vander Sande, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor of Lighthouse Emotional Wellness Center assists in the emotional journey from diagnosis through treatment and redefining life as a cancer survivor. We are grateful to the caring hands of the community who reach out to support the physical and emotional well being of every cancer warrior in their fight.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Turn The Page

September was filled with fabulous awareness activities - from the beautiful teal lights, waters flowing teal, fun walks with furry friends and wellness lunches to share symptom awareness. As we turn the page to a new month, ovarian cancer symptom awareness events don’t have to come to an end. 

The turning of teal to pink is marked by Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer week.  The result of the efforts of FORCE, the goal of HBOC week is to raise awareness about hereditary cancer. Knowing your family history is vital to understanding your level of risk. Removing the stigma of cancer diagnosis and open discussion of family history – among both men and women – be it ovarian, breast, colon or prostate cancer – is essential for empowering your health.

There are small steps in our circle of influence that help promote ovarian cancer awareness. Consider adding the NOCC Cancer Quiz to your email signature or Facebook page. Although sandal season may be coming to a close, have a supply of Teal Toes cards available to leave with your tip at your next manicure or latte. Keep those hooks and needles moving for Teal Hat Project and share your good wishes with a survivor.

Always ready to take the opportunity to educate, Team Chasen A Cure will be at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library Chamber Health Fair on Saturday, October 5th. Continually speaking on symptoms, self-awareness and health advocacy is an effort to make TEAL as recognizable as pink. Don't let the turn of the calendar page keep you from supporting ovarian cancer warriors in their daily fight

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Power of 1000 Balloons

September 14th could not have been a more picture perfect day for the 2013 OCSA Annual Walk for the Goose. Ovarian Cancer Symptom Awareness’ Veterinary Outreach Program (VOP) drew pet lovers with 4-legged friends to join together on the 3 mile walk on the Great Western Trail.
Yummy Treats and a Celebratory Teal Bone from Wiggle Waggles
Staff from Elmhurst Animal Hospital

Dr. Cindy Charlier of Fox Valley Veterinary Dentistry performed complimentary dental exams

There was fun to be shared with sponsor tents, a raffle and complimentary pet dental exams. This was also a poignant occasion for many, including the family and friends of late Susan Roman, a co-founder of OCSA.

At ISVMA convention in November of 2012, Dr. Julian Schink began the kick off of VOP by asking the audience for a show of hands of those whose lives had been touched by ovarian cancer. The number who raised their hands startled Dr. Kurt Klepitsch of Gateway Veterinary Hospital of St. Charles, IL. He had no personal connection and related ovarian cancer only with Gilda Radner. It was not long before, Dr. Klepitsch had to include himself in that select group as his young niece Katelyn was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Last month, Kate lost her battle with ovarian cancer at age 20. Dr. Klepitsch spoke of his daughter’s dream before the balloon release at her cousin Kate’s funeral service – a dream of one balloon left afloat busting open releasing 1000 new balloons. Each opportunity to spread the signs of ovarian cancer is a chance to be one of those thousand balloons, filling the sky with TEAL for those you love, and for Susan and Kate.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Friday Night Teal Lights

Friday nights in the fall mean high school football. Two Toledo-area high school teams, the Woodmore Wildcats and Port Clinton Redskins, kicked off the season opener last Friday night sporting teal socks as part of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Night in memory of Carole Schultz and Norma Brossia. Organized by their families, the night was a tribute to the women, who had been supportive to their grandchildren on the field and in the band, as well as an opportunity to educate the community and raise funds for the Ovarian Cancer Connection of Northwest Ohio.

Carole Schultz's diagnosis was at stage 4 with metastasis on her lung and colon. Ovarian cancer would have been off her radar, as Schultz had her ovaries removed at age 29. Shed ovarian cells migrate to the peritoneum, where they remain. An oophorectomy can dramatically reduce but not completely negate the risk of ovarian cancer in those remaining cells.

Ovarian cancer affects not only women, but also the families that love them. The efforts of Donna Sandwisch, Holly Berry and Gerri and Mike Brossia demonstrate that we can educate in our own sphere of influence, and that the message will carry beyond our corner of the map.